Smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In America, thousands of people die every day due to any of these illnesses. Majority of them are SMOKERS. The government understands the negative impact of smoking to the society. In fact, records show that billions of dollars are spent every year for smoking-related problems. If before, smoking is a fad, now it is viewed as disgusting as it sounds.
For the past years, the government, in cooperation with private organizations, has come up with numerous programs to discourage the public from smoking and offer support to those who want to quit. From massive campaigns to fully interactive online tools, they have been very successful so far in reducing smoking rates.
Here is a rundown of the leading governmental moves against cigarette smoking:
1. Smoking Ban
Banning smoking in public areas has been one of the oldest and most effective moves the government has observed in the past few years. There are many states in America that strictly prohibit smokers from lighting up. In some states, there are only designated areas where people are allowed to smoke. This move has been adopted by many private organizations as well, including offices, schools, and medical facilities.
2. Tax Increase
In some states, tobacco products (as well as alcoholic beverages), are charged with towering taxes by the government. When this policy was approved, tobacco manufacturers protested but still complied. While adding high taxes on cigarettes has been a bad news for most smokers, for some – it was the reason why they quit.
3. Health Promotion
People are more health-conscious these days than they were decades ago. Aside from the fact that a wide range of diseases have been discovered, the government has been very good at promoting public health. Add the massive contribution of charities, health groups and private organizations. Today, most people know and understand the negative consequences of smoking.
4. Prevention of Smoking
Despite the high cost of cigarettes, many people are able to buy tobacco products cheaply because of the smuggled cigarettes being traded in the black market. But the greatest threat concerning smuggled tobacco products is that most of them did not pass safety checks, a fact that make them more dangerous to use.
5. Smoking Ban for Minors
Smoking brings plenty of negative effects to people’s health, especially to the young ones. Sadly, the number of smoking teens has significantly increased in the past years. There’s no wonder why many people start to develop lung cancer and other serious diseases when they reach 30 and up. For this reason, the government has made policies on smoking for young people 18 and below. Since then, minors were no longer allowed to use cigarettes until they reach their legal age.
6. Massive Health Warnings on Packets of Tobacco Products.
The government wants to remind each and every smoker about the potential consequence of their act. Thus, instead of the attractive packets, they required all tobacco manufacturers that sell their products in America to post health warning signs which do not only include words or phrases, but also pictures that portray how terrible smoking is.
7. Advertisement Ban
Before, tobacco manufacturers can freely advertise their products on and off the cam. Some of them even use young models, athletes and celebrities to project a ‘cool’, ’healthy’, and ‘awesome’ perception about cigarettes.
Until the number of smokers turns zero, we know that the government shouldn’t stop doing all sorts of things to beat nicotine addiction. But then, we just don’t pass on the burden to them. Every one of us, regardless of whether we smoke or not, has a role to play in making the world cigarette-free.